On 12/17/16, while traveling in Methuen MA, Chris was in a car accident. He was traveling south on Broadway proceeding through a flashing yellow light in a snowstorm when a vehicle came from Osgood St crossing in front of him and hitting him in the back passenger side tire spinning him out. The driver was cited at the scene for failing to yield.
The Vehicle Chris was driving, a 1997 Honda Accord Wagon, VIN# 1HGCE1828VA002673, was rendered undrivable and ordered towed by the Methuen Police. The company that towed it was Valley Towing located in Methuen.
Chris’s father, Charles Nesbitt, Sr., notified Valley Towing on 12/17/16 that there would be an insurance claim and that they should continue to store the Vehicle. He left his phone number with them as well.
Methuen Police did not copy the contact and mailing info from the Chris’s license, but instead relied on outdated information provided by the Mass RMV. This inadvertently caused some miscommunication with Liberty Mutual, and the crash and liability investigation didn’t even begin until several weeks after the accident, so the car ended up stored at Valley Towing for over a month.
Chris visited Valley Towing 1/19/17 to provide them with the Insurance claim info and again on 1/23/17, at which point they provided him with a receipt for the current towing and storage balance. The name and phone number on the receipt were Chris’s father’s. It also had a notation for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Representative and claim #03485476. Chris emailed a copy of the Tow Report receipt to Jennifer Rodriguez at Liberty Mutual the same day.
Chris called Valley on 2/8/17 and told them he’d spoken with Tim, an adjuster from Liberty Mutual Insurance, and he would be coming on the 2/10/17 to look at the Vehicle. Valley called the Chris on the 2/10/17 and confirmed Tim had come. The Plaintiff also received an email from Tim at Liberty with a copy of the appraisal.
After a couple months passed and the insurance company was disputing the claim due to a disagreement on liability, Chris decided to contact a lawyer about this. On 4/11/17, Chris visited the Law Office of Aziz and Manasian, in Lawrence and gave them his claim information. He also explained his Vehicle was still being stored by Valley Towing.
Another month passed and Chris hadn’t heard anything from the lawyer or Valley Towing so on 5/18/17, he went to Valley inquire about the Vehicle. He explained that he was planning on retaining this Vehicle to repair and register for his son Christopher Jr who would be 17 in October.
Chris was sworn at by the owner, Ronald Parrino, who stated that he no longer had the Vehicle, and that he sent it to Fram’s Auto to be junked, and “if I didn’t like it I could Sue him”.
Chris immediately went to Fram’s Auto, and spoke to the owner, George Dufour, who acknowledged that he purchased the Vehicle from Valley and that it had been destroyed “Over a month ago”. He was unable to provide any paperwork regarding the sale or destruction of the Vehicle.
Chris then went to the Methuen Police Department to report the Vehicle Stolen and Destroyed. The Police called Valley and someone there stated to the dispatcher that they mailed out letters. The Plaintiff explained that he never received any letters from Valley. He spoke to Lt. Frank Korn who stated that it was a civil matter and he would not take a report. After leaving the Police Station, the Plaintiff called and left a messages for Chief Solomon, and Mayor Zanni.
Chris was contacted by phone the next morning by Methuen Police Lt. Mike Papalardo who insisted this would not be investigated by the Methuen Police as a crime, although Chris insisted quite firmly his position of the law. The call lasted 13 1/2 minutes.
As it turned out, the Lawyer Chris contacted has been dear friends with Ronald Parrino for many years, and is no longer representing me.
On 5/27/17, Chris did a Title inquiry Online via Mass RMV Title Lookup. (see HERE) At that time, Chris’s Title was still valid although it was still in the name of the previous owner since Chris never registered the vehicle but was transporting it on a NH Dealer Plate.
Chris spoke to a woman at Valley Towing on Thursday June 1, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., for about a minute and a half. She explained to him that she would not tell him the total bill for the towing and storage if he wasn’t coming to “pay it in cash today” She further stated the insurance company would need to call Valley to get the current bill.
Chris spoke to Ms. Jennifer Rodriguez, who is handling the property damage portion of this claim for Liberty Mutual, on 6/7/17. She explained that she called Valley Towing, and they would not tell her how much the bill was over the phone, but that they should send Valley Towing an email to: Valley.Towing@gmail.com. Ms. Rodriguez explained that she sent the email on 6/7/17, and was awaiting a reply. Chris also sent Valley an email and cc’d Ms. Rodriguez.
Chris explained his situation regarding retaining the car with Ms. Rodriguez, and agreed that the salvage value of the vehicle would be deducted from the settlement check, and he would need to pursue a claim against Valley Towing for the loss of the car.
On 6/23/17, Chris learned that Valley Towing actually took the step of advertising my car in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune Newspaper, which appeared on 6/6/17, 6/13/17, and 6/20/17. The auction and sale date was 6/21/17.
Although Chris never received an email from Jennifer Rodriguez or Valley Towing, a check was mailed to Valley Towing for $497.60 on 6/9/17.
Chris subsequently spoke with Ms. Rodriguez who confirmed that Liberty had settled with Valley for the towing and storage bill , and that it had been paid.
Valley has since applied for and received a Title from Mass RMV,